Card: Action Packed Rookies 1990
Acquired: In Person 1994, Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp
Wide receivers weren’t highly rated coming out of the 1990 draft and there wasn’t even one taken in the 1st round. In fact the #1 rated receiver Reggie Rembert didn’t even log 500 career yards. There were 6 receivers taken (7 if you include supplemental pick Rob Moore,) before Fred Barnett out of Arkansas State, was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles along with Calvin Williams (5th round) and Mike Bellamy (2nd round). The Eagles were desperate to rejuvenate a beleaguered wide receiver corps that had Mike Quick retiring due to patella tendinitis in 1990 and Cris Carter being cut the previous year. With Mike Bellamy wearing out his welcome and being cut midway through the 1990 season, Barnett and Williams became Randall Cunnningham‘s go to duo. Fred would not disappoint, hauling in a 95 yard touchdown in his rookie year and was known to sacrifice his body to go up top to make the catch. (Perhaps there was added pressure because head coach Buddy Ryan hated wide receivers, even going so far as saying to Barnett, “To catch the damn ball or you’re fired!”) Barnett would make the ProBowl in 1992, – with 1083 yards and 6 touchdowns. After an injury plagued 1993, Fred would return to form and have a career high 1127 yards in 1994. He’d leave the Eagles in 1996, playing two oft injured seasons for the Miami Dolphins before retiring in 1998.
Barnett since retiring has remained physically active and fit- even considering returning to the sport as late as 2005. He has dabbled in a variety of ventures including fashion design, acting, and a variety of charitable work. At last glance he still lives in the Philadelphia area and still passionately follows the Eagles. I got his autograph at Philadelphia Eagles training camp in West Chester back in 1994. Also of note is that Fred is a cousin of former wide receiver Tim Barnett of the Kansas City Chiefs.
G/Gs 96/88 Rec 361 Yds 5362 Avg 14.9 Td 32 Lg 95T